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Old man robs bank so he can go home to prison

 
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liesnalibis View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 11:41am
I'm thinking of making a master news thread for all the f*ckery I find.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/park_ridge_niles/chi-elderly-bank-robber-sentenced-to-prison-20140417,0,4503466.story

Elderly bank robber sentenced to prison


By Jason MeisnerTribune reporter

Elderly bank robber Walter Unbehaun had just been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison Thursday when he had a request that raised eyebrows in the federal courtroom in Chicago.

Unbehaun, a career criminal who told police he’d robbed a Niles bank last year because he wanted to go back “home” to prison, asked U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman if he could serve his time at the Greenville penitentiary outside St. Louis. The medium-security facility had nice medical services and better job opportunities to pass the time, he said. Confused

“They put me to work there,” said the balding, gray haired 74-year-old who used a cane for support.

The judge frowned. She said she’d make the recommendation but added it was “rather sad” to have a defendant who knew the ins and outs of the federal prison system so well.

It was a poignant end to what Unbehaun’s attorney, Richard McLeese, called “one of the saddest and most disturbing cases” he’d defended in more than 30 years practicing law.

Prosecutors acknowledged the case was unusual but sought a minimum 5-year prison, saying the public still needed to be protected from Unbehaun despite his age.

Unbehaun’s life of crime began in 1963, according to court records. The Army vet amassed nearly a dozen state and federal convictions ranging from petty theft to armed robbery. In 1969, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for kidnapping a 19-year-old girl. After his release, he robbed a bank in Morton Grove in 1998 and received another decade behind bars, records show.

When Unbehaun was finally released in 2011, he lived for a time with his sister in South Carolina but ended up in a studio apartment in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, alone, broke and suffering from the early stages of dementia.

In February 2013, he walked with the aid of a cane into the Harris Bank branch at 7077 W. Dempster St. in Niles, handed a teller a note written on a bank slip and announced a robbery, according to court records.

“This is a holdup. I have nothing to lose,” the teller quoted Unbehaun as saying. He then opened his jacket to reveal a silver gun tucked into his waistband. Moments later, he walked out with $4,178 in cash.

A few days later, police arrested Unbehan at a nearby motel and found a loaded handgun, a box of .32 caliber cartridges and most of the cash in the room.

According to court records, Unbehaun told police he had spent most of his adult life in prison and “wanted to go back as he felt more comfortable in prison than out.”

In a letter to the judge earlier this month, Unbehaun said that at the time he robbed the bank he was desperate and “thought going back to prison was my only other option.”

Before his sentence was imposed Thursday, Unbehaun limped up to the podium and apologized. But after more than a year awaiting trial in Kankakee County Jail, he clearly wasn't as keen on life behind bars anymore. Unbehaun said he now hoped to live out his days at a retirement home sketching and painting pictures.

“I've had a heck of a life, OK?” Unbehaun said in a deep voice. “But I don't want to die in prison.”

jmeisner@tribune.com

Twitter: @jmetr22b



Edited by liesnalibis - Apr 18 2014 at 11:43am
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mizzsandra00 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mizzsandra00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 11:42am
This is so common.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote coconess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 11:58am
yea i was just gonna say.. this is common. 


but 3 and a half years for a bank robbery…? and he requesting specific jails and getting recommendations..? AND he has a long rap sheet of a dozen crimes and served over 35 years in jail….? 

only for a white.. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Printer_Ink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 12:23pm
Yep, this is VERY common.

The problem is that they grow up with such dysfunction that first off ... lands them in jail.

When they get out of jail/prison they still don't know how to live right so they go back to their old life .... and end up in prison again.But this is where they understand the rules, so they can stay alive and they get free food and housing and medical care.

So it's not the prison life that they fear .. they fear life 'on the outside' because they don't know how to navigate the outside world as theyt have spent so many years in prison.

So in the end .. they will commit some crime .. any crime so that they can go 'home' to prison where they will be comfortable.

What a waste of life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote hauteshellbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 12:34pm
yea i get it you really think that man has an IRA and a 401k ummm no he has nothing not even a job so its better hes in jail than on the street with a "god bless you" sign
 
jail at 74 im sure he just exists...eating, sleeping etc  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 12:44pm
Reminds me of Shawshank Redemption.

Sad, but true. Free housing, meals, medical and dental care, no taxes. If they have to go to the Emergency Room, they are taken care of first, while others are there all day, or night.
Prisoners have everything provided for them (except freedom), while we on the outside have to deal with life and all its struggles.



Edited by Benni - Apr 18 2014 at 12:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote danieb23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 12:44pm
Happens all the time!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 12:46pm
i was feeling sorry for him until i read the last bit

Quote But after more than a year awaiting trial in Kankakee County Jail, he clearly wasn't as keen on life behind bars anymore. Unbehaun said he now hoped to live out his days at a retirement home sketching and painting pictures.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Printer_Ink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 1:14pm
Originally posted by Benni Benni wrote:

Reminds me of Shawshank Redemption.

Sad, but true. Free housing, meals, medical and dental care, no taxes. If they have to go to the Emergency Room, they are taken care of first, while others are there all day, or night.
Prisoners have everything provided for them (except freedom), while we on the outside have to deal with life and all its struggles.



Well YEAH, and with all it's freedoms and joys like, travel around the world Paris, Milano etc, swimming in the Red Sea, dancing the Salsa, reading any book you want, eating out with friends, great sex .. EVERYTHING!

The world is your oyster.

(As long as you don't F it up and land in the clink so then you can only be thankful for the BASICS like food, shelter and medical care! Duh!) That would be lousy life IMO.

Edited by Printer_Ink - Apr 18 2014 at 1:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:18pm
I ran out of sympathy when I  read this

"In 1969, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for kidnapping a 19-year-old girl. "
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